Wild Rice & Mushroom Casserole

This hearty vegetarian main course casserole would be a lovely option to serve vegetarian guests during the holidays. We ate it as a cozy winter meal with roasted broccoli and green salad.

The puréed beans add creaminess to the filling. After reading comments about this recipe online, I was apprehensive to include all of the bean liquid required in the original recipe because others had complained that the final consistency was mushy. I only used half of a cup but next time I would include 1 cup or even additional liquid (noted below).

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I substituted celery for fennel, added a chipotle chile, used mixed baby greens, and reduced the breadcrumbs, beans, liquid, and baking time. It was the ultimate dish to utilize my brand new giant 14-inch skillet. Yay! The vegetables could be cooked in batches if using a smaller pan, of course.

Yield: 12 servings

  • 2 ¼ cups vegetable, mushroom or chicken stock
  • coarse salt
  • 1 ¼ cups wild rice, rinsed
  • 9 t0 10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
  • 24 oz sliced mushrooms, preferably a mix of different kinds (I used cremini mushrooms.)
  • 3 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery heart or 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and chopped
  • 5 ounces mixed baby kale, chard, and spinach
  • 7 fat garlic cloves (4 chopped, 3 finely grated or crushed into a paste)
  • ½ tablespoon tomato paste
  • teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • (14-ounce) cans white beans, strained with liquid reserved (I used cannellini beans.)
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce (about 2 tsp)
  • tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • cup chopped fresh cilantro (or basil)
  • cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/4 cups panko or coarse bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • cup grated Parmesan cheese, optional
  1. Taste broth; if bland, season to taste with salt. In a medium pot, bring broth to a boil over high heat. Stir in rice, lower heat, cover and simmer until just tender, about 1 hour, or according to package directions. Fluff rice with a fork, cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté vegetables: In a large, heavy skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until brown and crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes. (If using a smaller pan, cook in batches, adding oil if necessary.)
  3. Adjust heat as needed to prevent burning. Transfer cooked mushrooms to a plate and sprinkle lightly with salt.
  4. In the empty skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Stir in leeks, fennel/celery and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, until soft but not browned, about 8 minutes.
  5. Stir in baby greens, chopped garlic, tomato paste and red pepper flakes, and cook until garlic starts turning golden, another 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.
  6. Heat oven to 400 degrees, and oil a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. (I used cooking oil spray.)
  7. In a blender, purée 2 cans beans with 1/2 cup to 1 cup of the reserved liquid, chipotle, lemon juice, 1 grated garlic clove, and salt to taste. (I used a Vitamix.)
  8. Stir bean purée, remaining whole beans (drained), mushrooms, cilantro, parsley and cooked wild rice into skillet with vegetables. Taste and add more salt or lemon as needed; it should be well seasoned. Add additional bean liquid, if necessary, in order to achieve desired consistency. Scrape into prepared baking dish.
  9. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, rosemary, lemon zest, remaining 2 grated garlic cloves and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in 1/4 cup olive oil and Parmesan, if using.
  10. Sprinkle evenly on top of casserole and bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.
Note: To make part of this recipe in advance, assemble casserole and prepare topping (separately) up to 24 hours ahead. Refrigerate, covered, in separate containers. Just before baking, spread breadcrumb topping evenly over the casserole. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until heated through and topping is golden, another 20 to 30 minutes.

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Wild Rice & Mushroom Soup

When my friend, Julie of Hostess at Heart, posted this mouthwatering soup, I knew that I had to make it for my mushroom-loving Thanksgiving guests. (My family!) It was very well received. 🙂

I adapted the recipe by cooking the wild rice on the stove top in an enameled cast iron pot instead of in the oven. I made it in advance and froze it without any issues. It was earthy, full-flavored, and absolutely fabulous.

Yield: Serves 12

  • 1 1/2 cups wild rice
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 
2 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, plus 8 additional cloves, minced
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 0.4 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms (I used a combination of dried portobello & shiitakes)
  • 6 T unsalted butter
  • 24 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 medium or 1 1/2 large yellow onions, chopped fine
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 T light soy sauce
  • 6 T cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 6 T minced fresh chives, plus more for garnish, optional
  1. Bring water, thyme, bay leaf, 2 garlic cloves, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and baking soda to boil in a 4 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add rice and return to a boil. (I used an enameled cast iron pot.)
  2. Cover saucepan and cook until rice is tender, about 55 minutes.
  3. Strain rice through a fine-mesh strainer set in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup; discard thyme, bay leaf, and garlic. Add enough water to reserved cooking liquid to measure 4 1/2 cups.
  4. Grind shiitake mushrooms in a spice grinder until finely ground. (You should have about 4 1/2 tablespoons.)
  5. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat.
  6. Add cremini mushrooms, onions, minced garlic, tomato paste, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper.
  7. Cook stirring occasionally, until vegetables are browned and dark fond develops on bottom of pot, about 15 minutes.
  8. Add sherry, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until reduced and pot is almost dry, about 2 minutes.
  9. Add ground mushrooms, reserved rice cooking liquid, chicken broth, and soy sauce and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until onion and mushroom are tender, about 20 minutes.
  10. In a small bowl, place 6 tablespoons of simmering liquid from pot and whisk in the cornstarch.
  11. Stir cornstarch slurry into soup, return to simmer, and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  12. Remove pot from heat and stir in cooked rice, cream, chives, and lemon zest.
  13. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole

Woo hoo! I’m excited to share that I am co-hosting Angie’s Fiesta Friday #109 this week with lovely Lily of Little Sweet Baker. Fiesta Friday is my absolute favorite online party. I get so many fabulous recipe ideas every week! It’s also a great place to meet other bloggers.

I’m bringing this gigantic potluck casserole to share with everyone. This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by chef Gavin Kayser of Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis.

This dish has it all. It has layers of tender wild rice, loads of Swiss chard sautéed with shallots and garlic, creamy mushroom-herb sauce, and chicken tenderloins. Because it can be baked a day ahead, it would be perfect to bring to a potluck dinner. It might be the most elegant casserole I’ve ever made!

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Time: about 2 1/2 hours

For the Wild Rice:

  • 1/2 pound wild rice (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 of a large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the Swiss Chard:

  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 pounds Swiss chard, stems discarded and leaves coarsely chopped (I used 2 bunches of green chard and 1 bunch of rainbow chard.)

For the Mushroom Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small celery rib, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced rosemary
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

To Finish the Dish:

  • 2 pounds thinly sliced chicken, pounded 1/4 inch thick (I used 14 chicken tenderloins)
  • 1 1/2 cups panko
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • chopped parsley, for serving

Make the Wild Rice:

  1.  In a large saucepan, combine all of the ingredients with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper.
  2. Cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer over moderate heat until the rice is tender, about 1 hour. Drain well.

Cook the Swiss Chard:

  1. Set a rack over a large rimmed baking sheet.
  2. In a pot, heat the oil. ( I used a Dutch oven.)
  3. Add the shallot and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the Swiss chard in large handfuls, letting each batch wilt slightly before adding more. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the chard is wilted, 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Spread the chard out on the rack to drain and let cool completely. Squeeze out any excess water.

Make the Mushroom Sauce:

  1. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering.
  2. Add half of the mushrooms and cook over moderately high heat, undisturbed, until browned on the bottom, 5 minutes. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and browned all over, 5 minutes longer; transfer to a plate.
  3. Repeat with the remaining oil and mushrooms.
  4. Wipe out the skillet and melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in it.
  5. Add the onion, celery, garlic, thyme, rosemary and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms.
  6. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, until incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  7. Gradually whisk in the stock and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and no floury taste remains, about 7 minutes.
  8. Stir in the cream and season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Finish the Dish:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly coat the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch or 4-quart baking dish that’s at least 2 inches deep with cooking oil spray.
  2. Arrange half of the chicken in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  3. Scatter half of the Swiss chard over the chicken, followed by half of the wild rice and half of the mushroom cream sauce.
  4. Repeat the layering once more with the remaining chicken, greens, rice and sauce.
  5. In a medium bowl, toss the panko with the 3 tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle evenly over the casserole.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for about 35 minutes, until bubbling.
  7. Uncover the casserole and turn on the broiler. Broil 6 inches from the heat until the panko is lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
  8. Let stand for 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

Note: The baked casserole can be cooled down and refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently and crisp the panko under the broiler before serving.

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Mushroom, Leek, & Wild Rice Soup

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This is an earthy and elegant soup adapted from Martha Stewart Living. It uses a combination of assorted fresh mushrooms as well as dried mushrooms to give it a rich and complex flavor. I used fresh cremini, portobello, and shiitake mushrooms, but button or chanterelles could also be used. The bunch of beautiful leeks from my CSA share were also part of this lovely dish. I sautéed the leeks in red wine rather than sherry. We ate it with crusty sourdough bread and green salad.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

  • .25 oz dried porcini or dried portobello mushrooms (for 2 T powder- instructions below)
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 1 tsp coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds assorted mushrooms, sliced into bite-sized pieces (such as button, cremini, shiitake (stems removed), & chanterelle)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 6 leeks (white and pale-green parts only), quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sherry, Madeira, Port, or red wine
  • 6 T light soy sauce
  • 2 quarts homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 to 3/4 cup heavy cream or half & half
  • 2 T finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
  1. In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add salt and wild rice. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until tender, 45 to 60 minutes. Drain; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dried mushroom powder. In a spice mill or coffee grinder, pulse the dried mushrooms to a fine powder. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  3. In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat half the oil over medium-high heat. Add half the mushrooms; season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned and tender, about 7 minutes; transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining oil and mushrooms.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Melt butter; add leeks. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 T of mushroom powder; cook 1 minute. Add sherry and soy sauce; cook 1 minute more.
  5. Add stock to pot; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook 20 minutes. Stir in wild rice, cream (or half & half), and parsley; adjust seasoning, and serve. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

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